A couple of weeks ago, I wrote out my intentions for 2014, and have spent the first two weeks of the year getting started on all of them! One thing that I mentioned that I really wanted to do was go back to Orange Theory Fitness. I took a class over the summer and bought a package of classes, and then somehow never went back.
Just for the record, I really liked my first class. The team was super nice and I thought the workout and the instructor were great. So this was more of those “life happens” situations and not a “I didn’t like it and I need to force myself to do this” situation. These past couple of weeks are the first time in a while I didn’t have any impending travel to break up my weeks and I finally have a decent chunk of time to start going to these classes again and see how well they work.
At Orange Theory, they do heart rate based interval training where participants wear a polar heart rate monitor so they can 1) see their efforts on a screen during class and 2) receive a full report of the hour workout after the class via email as well. There are 3 parts of the workout: the treadmill, the rower and the weight room. The goal is to keep your heart rate in the “orange zone” on the monitor for about 12-20 minutes which is somewhere around 85-90% of your maximum heart rate (they explain this very thoroughly on their website and when new members come in for the first class).
In the past two weeks I’ve taken four classes, two with Devon and two with Emily, at the Arcadia location here in Phoenix. I was nervous at first because quite frankly I’ve been pretty good about cardio lately and slacking on my weight training. One thing I really like is how the workout is adjustable for almost any level of fitness. For example, on the treadmill, they have plans for walkers, joggers and runners. For the weight section they have weights ranging from 5 pounds up to 50+ so anyone can get started and work their way up. The instructors have also been great about helping people adapt for injuries (I’ve had two surgeries on my right knee, and both Devon and Emily have helped me adapt to avoid jumping on certain exercises.)
I’ve had several reactions to my classes so far:
1. These classes are SO hard and you can always push yourself further than you thought – higher speed, greater incline, heavier weights, etc. So as you get stronger the workout grows with you. I love that!
2. From the small sample of workouts I’ve been to, every class has been completely different. Different treadmill intervals, different weights, TRX, etc – I haven’t done the same exercise twice yet on the weight side. Or on the treadmill or rower for that matter. It is not boring that’s for sure!
3. The instructors have an incredible ability to teach two (sometimes three) classes simultaneously (the group is split to treadmill
first and then weights or vice versa) and still make sure people are holding correct form so they don’t get injured. They’re also super motivating before, during and after class.
4. The hour flies by. For a workout this hard I expected it to feel like forever but for some reason once we start going I have zero concept of time and I am shocked when we are done already. It’s a nice surprise because usually my arms and legs want to fall off by the time I’m done but mentally my head is still in it!
5. I really like getting an email at the end of my class that tracks my heart rate and calories for the full hour. It’s a great way to track progress. Oh, and somehow my jeans are already looser than they were a few weeks ago!
I’ve been in a bit of a workout rut lately and this has definitely sparked a fire for me to get going again!
Which workouts have helped you be inspired? Let me know, I’d love to hear about them!